Nurse in the Family? Balancing a Healthcare Career and Life at Home

If you know a nurse, you know how much they care for people. Even after they “clock out,” they are dedicated to others. Balancing a career in healthcare and life at home with family can often be a challenge. As we celebrate Nurses’ Month this May, here are some ideas for those who love our frontline health workers and nurses to help balance their demanding work schedule and your lives together at home. 

Mark it on the Calendar 

Nurses and other healthcare workers often work unconventional shifts. This makes communication very important when it comes to scheduling family life. If you have a nurse in the family, it is incredibly helpful to have a shared calendar that everyone uses to understand the hours that they will be working. You can use a traditional paper calendar that you hang up on the refrigerator, or sync your family’s smartphone calendars to share schedules. 

Whatever you use to help your family make plans, make sure you stick to it! When an unexpected event or commitment comes up, you will know what everyone in the family is doing and how to best accommodate them, without asking too much of a family member who may already have a lot on their plate with their work schedule. 

Helping Around the House

Communication isn’t just key for scheduling. It can also be a huge help to the nurse in your life if the rest of the family makes plans about how they’ll help around the house throughout the week. Even if the nurse you know has a “regular” work schedule, their day-to-day plans may be thrown off by tough days on the job. Knowing they can rely on members of the rest of the family to take care of things like meal prep, tidying the kitchen, and taking care of laundry will go a long way toward easing their mental burden once they’re off the clock.

Help Them Take A Break

Beyond doing the chores and cooking dinner, you can help the nurses in your life by helping them take a real break. Healthcare workers oftentimes find it difficult to relax and “turn off” after a long day saving lives and helping others. Encourage them to take care of themselves, whether that means having quiet time to read a book, take a long bath, or go to the gym when they find themselves stressed out. 

The people who take care of us need us to take care of them, too. Show your love to the nurses in your family this month and help them stay organized, rested, and relaxed!